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The Effect of the Internet on Tourism

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CHAPTER I
The Problem and its Settings

Introduction The term ecotourism was unknown in the English language as recently as the mid-1980’s. Yet, by the beginning of the 21st century, this form of recreational activity, which essentially involves the observation an appreciation of wildlife and other aspects of the natural environment while minimizing the related ecological or sociocultural costs, had emerged as a major component of global tourism and an important focus for academics in the field of tourism studies. Many stakeholders, however, while enthusiastically embracing the concept of ecotourism as defined above, still do not really understand what it means: what activities qualify, who participates, where it occurs, what impact is acceptable, or how it can be optimally managed. A balanced and comprehensive exposure to the growing knowledge base of ecotourism that will assist their ability to place in context, critically evaluate and effectively manage the sector. (Weaver, D. Ecotourism, 2nd edition: ESP Printers, Inc. 2008). Just as tourism has grown and changed, ecotourism also has gone through a kind of metamorphosis. In its early days, ecotourism was seen more as a type of travel and a specific market niche. Today, it is increasingly viewed as a travel concept or philosophy, based upon a set of principles that can, and should, be applied across the widest possible spectrum of the global tourism industry in an effort to make tourism truly sustainable and a positive benefit to the natural and cultural heritage of our planet. In that sense, ecotourism and nature travel should not be viewed as the same thing. A river-rafting through the jungle may be fun, may be interesting and may provide a great family vacation. But only if that trip directly promotes the protection of nature and tangibly contributes to the well-being of local people does it become...

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